Bigger, rounder, firmer, fuller, higher… when it comes to our breasts, almost of us want more of something.
Yet, when it comes to looking after these fragile parts, we are almost criminal in our negligence.
In fact, we often go out of our way to be hard on them — sleeping on them, stuffing them into ill-fitting bras, bouncing them while going bra-less, putting mouths and hands on them… ! Yes, boobs go through A LOT!
This is really not a good idea as this is one of the first areas of our body to show signs of premature aging. That’s because the skin around our boobs is thinner and more prone to stretching than anywhere else, thereby losing elasticity more quickly.
Add to this problems like chest acne, sun damage, abrasive clothing etc etc etc… and you can see why you need to treat your breasts better than your face. Most of us only get one pair (unless we are going down the surgery route), so start being good to them!
Breast commandment #1: Deep cleanse & exfoliate
Have you ever thought of exfoliating your boobs? Why not? This is the first step toward a super-smooth décolletage.
A scrub-up will remove impurities, help prevent blemishes and speed up cellular renewal, resulting in glowing, more youthful-looking skin.
BUT stay away from the harsher body scrubs, which can leave tiny tears on this fragile skin. Instead, opt for a gentle facial formula with finely ground particles. Tatcha The Deep Cleanse Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser and the Drunk Elephant JuJu Exfoliating Bar are superb for the fragile skin on your chest.
Or add three tablespoons of olive oil to one tablespoon of sugar, mix well, and use as a gorgeously natural exfoliator.
As for cleansing, skip the soap and go for a hydrating or clarifying body wash. Bliss Lemon + Sage Soapy Suds is perfect for a deep cleanse sans dehydration. At the same time, Neutrogena’s Body Clear Acne Body Wash is great at keeping cleavage calm and clear.
Breast commandment #2: Moisturise & protect
Since the skin on our chest is extremely thin, it’s very prone to dehydration and sun damage.
Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor highly recommended smearing a rotten banana in an old bra to firm the bust. She would allow the fruit to turn black (which ups the potassium), then wear it for an hour.
Fortunately, there are easier (and less messy) solutions in the form of a zillion skin creams, gels, tonics, and lotions meant explicitly for the breast area. No, they won’t increase your cup size but will firm and tighten the skin, creating a smoother, plumped-up effect.
A dermatologist suggested Clarins Bust Beauty Firming Lotion to combat concerns about elasticity and collagen when I hit my 30s. It has been a staple on the bathroom shelf ever since. Occasionally, I add Ole Henriksen’s Invigorating Night Transformation Gel or Murad’s Clarifying Body Spray when hyperpigmentation or acne creeps up.
Follow up with your favorite body sunscreen, with a minimum SPF of 30 (almost every beauty editor I know has stacks of Supergoop! Play Antioxidant Body Sunscreen Mist SPF 50 PA++++ in their own boobs arsenal!). Put it on a few minutes BEFORE your bra — otherwise, you could end up with sunburnt (or worse — permanently sun-damaged) boobs.
Need more incentive to become breast-aware? Daily massage makes women more familiar with how their breasts look and feel, enabling them to detect any changes immediately.
Breast commandment #3: Pamper
Once a week, use a firming mask all over your boobs. First Aid Beauty’s 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask and Peter Thomas Roth’s 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Mask are perfect for tightening and nourishing collagen-hungry skin.
As is this home recipe:
- Blend four tablespoons of papaya with two tablespoons of buttermilk
- Apply this mixture to your breasts and leave for 15-20 minutes
- Wash off with lukewarm water and watch your skin glow!
For the ultimate pre-party pampering, book yourself a professional salon bust treatment. Clarins’ Paris Method Bust Treatment uses specific massage movements. And Decleor’s Bust Firming Treatment includes a gorgeous sculptural mask for the boobs.
Breast commandment #4: Support
It’s also crucial to wear the right size bra (bonus boob points if it’s underwired) since a lousy fit can permanently damage breast tissue, leading to unsightly marks and sagging.
You’d be surprised at the damage inflicted by something as simple as running up a flight of stairs: When your breasts bounce up and down, they pull and stretch the skin and supporting ligaments, thereby leading to drooping.
So, you can imagine how important it is to always wear a good sports bra when doing bosom-jostling activities like aerobics or jogging, no matter your size (even smaller sets are sag-prone). Also important: Replace bras every six months, as they lose a lot of support.
And keep in mind that maintaining stable body weight is your next best defense against gravity-induced drag: cycles of weight gain and loss (of 10 pounds or more) can pump up, then deflate breast skin.
Breast commandment #5: Inside out
While spot toning exercises can’t turn an A cup into a C cup, they can help improve the look of your bustline. Working out helps build the underlying pectoral muscles, creating a foundation that lifts the breasts.
So, commit to daily press-ups. An easy way is to grip horizontal support (window sill, horizontal bar, or the arms of a large, solid chair) that allows you to exercise from an angle of roughly 45 degrees instead of flat on the floor.
Breast commandment #6: Show them off
You don’t have to “put ’em on the glass,” but showcase your beautiful breasts with a push-up bra and a v-neck shirt: the most fabulous pairing of products since toast and jam.
If that’s too much for you, enhance them with a bronzer or body tint. I am totally in love with Lush’s Shimmy Shimmy. This solid body lotion leaves a very subtle but ever-so-effective shimmer that lights up the skin.
Or borrow a tip from make-up artists and red carpet celebs on how to use make-up to fake a deeper cleavage: Take two shades of bronzing powder, one in a neutral tone and the other slightly darker. Using a large blusher brush, sparingly dust the lighter shade over your neck, shoulders, and chest to create an overall glow. Next, dust the darker shade into the cleavage, blending carefully to avoid obvious lines.
The same effect can be achieved by using two tones of tinted moisturizer and blending with the fingertips. Sexy, much?
Do you pay proper attention to your boobs? What’s your secret breast pampering ritual?
Photos courtesy of Victoria’s Secret